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UGANDA STAKEHOLDER FEEDBACK FORM

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Project description

We are initiating a local stakeholder consultation of our project: “Kijani” in Uganda. The objective of the project is to generate carbon credits from afforestation activity in line with VERRA standards and methodologies (www.verra.org). Verra is a global leader, with
major recognition internationally, helping to tackle the world´s most intractable environmental and social challenges by developing and managing standards that help the private sector, countries, and civil society achieve ambitious sustainable development and climate action goals. Verra catalyzes measurable climate action and sustainable development outcomes by driving large-scale investment in activities that reduce emissions, improve livelihoods and protect nature. Verra is having under consideration our project for carbon credits.


Kijani Forestry is a social enterprise founded in 2019, located in Uganda. Kijani’s mission is to empower smallholder farmers to generate income and combat climate change through the establishment of sustainable wood lots. As of 2022, Kijani has planted over 5 million trees with over 8,000 farmers throughout northern Uganda. Kijani works in partnership with local communities, government agencies, international non- governmental agencies, universities, and other stakeholders to implement sustainable
land use practices and agroforestry management systems. Through these partnerships, Kijani aims to build capacity and establish a foundation for sustainable development in Uganda through growing trees that provide income-generating opportunities for farmers. 
Kijani works through a network of thousands of organized small groups across Uganda to establish small-scale nurseries, train farmers in nursery management, and mobilize farmers to establish fuelwood lots on their private land. Kijani’s unique approach addresses many of the barriers faced by rural farmers who wish to plant trees; Kijani provides all inputs needed for a productive tree nursery, including properly sourced seeds, potting bags, equipment for maintenance, and materials needed to care for seedlings.

 

Kijani’s field staff are stationed in the communities full-time, and full-time and provide regular training to groups on nursery establishment and maintenance, seedling care, pest management, agroforestry practices, and fuelwood lot establishment and management. At any given moment, a Kijani staff member is no more than a bicycle ride
away from a Kijani nursery. Kijani’s continuous presence, and strong relationships, in the community is critical to the long-term success of the project. In addition to its reforestation efforts, Kijani provides training and support to communities to help them establish
sustainable forest management practices and create economic opportunities through various forest products. This includes training in sustainable harvesting techniques including coppicing, pollarding and the development of markets for forest products. 


Kijani's planting efforts are focused on planting primarily indigenous and a small proportion of nativized, non-indigenous tree species on degraded land, which helps to restore soil fertility, prevent soil erosion, and promote biodiversity. By planting trees, Kijani aims to sequester carbon and mitigate the impacts of climate change alongside partnering with the people who are most affected by climate change.


A mixture of indigenous and exotic non-invasive species are planted, with an emphasis on fast-growing species that coppice well for regeneration and biomass accumulation after being harvested for fuelwood. This ensures that a fuelwood lot will be able to
sustainably produce fuelwood on a rotational basis for decades to come, if properly managed according to Kijani’s standards. Kijani places careful consideration on species selection, only planting species that have no known negative impacts on the local
environment and have multiple benefits for the smallholder farmers. Species are added to Kijani’s selection all the time, but currently the most common species include Melia volkensii, Gmelina arborea, Maesopsis eminii, Terminalia glaucensis, Senegalia polyacantha, and a variety of indigenous acacia species. Smallholder farmers possess a huge amount of land in Uganda, and collectively represent enormous potential to combat deforestation and drawdown carbon.

 

The only requirement for a smallholder farmer to participate in Kijani’s program is a willingness to learn and land available to plant trees on - no cash investment is needed, and all technical training and inputs are provided by Kijani. Additionally, this project is aligned with the National Development Plan which aims to increase Uganda’s forestland to 15% by 2025 (from 1986 to 2020, the forest areas in Uganda went from 20% to 9.5% of the total area).  

The project is seeking validation and verification under Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), which ensures that Kijani's reforestation efforts meet rigorous environmental and social standards. Verification under VCS will provide Kijani with a valuable tool to demonstrate the environmental and social benefits of its project and access the voluntary carbon market to support its continued growth and impact.

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